Bloody Lies


Thomas Mollett & Calvin Mollett

Penguin, 2014

213 pages + 16 pages colour section


This book takes head-on one of the highest-profile murder cases in recent South African history. In 2007 Fred van der Vyver was acquitted of the 2005 murder of fellow student Inge Lotz. He then sued the police to the highest court for malicious prosecution – and failed.

In spite of the defence’s trashing of the prosecution’s case at the trial, the authors show, compellingly, how every key element of the prosecuting evidence withstands the closest scrutiny. They use models, measurements, forensic tests, mathematical formulae and the views of experts both here and overseas.

They show how an ornamental hammer found in Van der Vyver’s vehicle, but thrown out as evidence, could match the head wounds. Contrary to the claim accepted at court they show convincingly that a disputed fingerprint was not lifted off a drinking glass – a detail that could make all the difference.

They demonstrate how blood marks on a towel could have come off the hammer, how blood stains on the floor could have been shaped by a specific shoe and how a closer look at cellphone records reveal a different choreography of movements than what was accepted by the court.

Could it be that two amateurs succeeded where the state prosecution failed? Thomas, a language practitioner, and his engineer brother Calvin, have made headlines, been featured on Carte Blanche and vilified, but not proven wrong – leaving wide open one of the most tantalising unsolved murder cases on record.

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2 months ago

Bloody Lies

Saw Beki Cele yesterday, with his "no dogs shall be walked" speech and thought, who the hell does this man think he is? Lekker tough guy, he thinks he is. Nobody is arguing the necessity of the lockdown, but to be talked down to like we're criminals? After his cohorts stole the country dry and ran it into the ground, and while not even able to manage the gangs (with the army), he should watch his arrogant tone a bit. Easy talk for a man who is not losing one cent or his job in this time, while many South African are looking down the barrel of the gun - income and job losses, unable to pay debt and necessary expenses, businesses and jobs being destroyed for some time to come. There are many people that may see this as a nice holiday break, most, however, is facing a bleak and utterly troublesome time ahead, from which they may not come out of. Yes, they need to be firm, but then at least be rational and clear before trying to be firm. Then you could walk your dog, then not. This seems more like a power show than anything else. It is funny how they can now suddenly "control" the situation but under normal circumstances turn a blind eye to so many things. As someone else remarked elsewhere, when authoritarianism and incompetence meet, what possibly can go wrong? Good luck to everybody. ... See MoreSee Less

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2 months ago

Bloody Lies

I've posted this anecdote a few years ago to make another point, but it is now more apt than ever.

One day, a mouse looked through a crack in the wall, hoping to spot the farmer and his wife opening some food, but to his astonishment, they were in fact opening a brand new mouse trap.

Running to the farmyard in a panic, the mouse warned the farm animals, “They just bought a mouse trap and put it in the house.”

The frightened mouse approached the pig, and explained the news that the farmer had just bought a new mouse trap.

“There is nothing I can do Mr. Mouse, but I will cross my fingers that no harm comes to you,” the pig replied sympathetically.

The mouse approached the farmyard chicken, looking for a solution. The chicken said that there was nothing he could do for him, and warned that he must be careful.

Very disappointed, by the lack of support he got from the chicken and the pig, he approached the cow, and warned her that the farmer had got a mouse trap. The cow was also very unhelpful. “Mr. Mouse, I’m a cow, the mouse trap cannot harm me and there is nothing I can do.”

That night there was a loud thud from the farm house. It sounded like the sound of mouse trap catching something, so the farmer’s wife rushed to see what had been caught.

She unfortunately didn’t see that the trap had caught the tail of a venomous snake; the snake turned around and gave the farmer’s wife a nasty bite.

After a few days in hospital, she returned home with a fever. Now everyone knows the best way to treat a fever, is with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer went to the farmyard to catch the chicken for the soup.

His wife didn’t get better, and friends and family came to visit and sit with her. To feed the visitors, the farmer butchered the pig.

Eventually the farmer’s wife died, and to feed all the guests at the funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide the meat for the funeral.


Re the Covid-19 pandemic, many may be (and are) in a better position than others. Not only not to get the virus, but also to weather the practical and dire economic implications it has and will have for some time. But for every person there is somebody worse off, and in the end, it affects everybody. What affects the car guard on the near empty parking lots now, may affect you in the end. We need to look out for each other in these unsure and anxious times and we need to keep the energy going, instead of clamping completely. Let's stay home and keep social distance, but let's keep things going.
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